My application for German citizenship has been processed and I am now a genuine, certified, beer-swilling, tree-hugging, socks-and-sandals-wearing German. Hooray! I retain my British nationality, too, so don't worry: the football-hooligan, binge-drinking, culinarily-challenged and over-hyphenated side of my nature remains.
I joined this site because I make mail art, and I need people to send it to! I hope to receive mail art or goodies with which to make mail art in return. I am also a real life scientist with a laser and everything. Some of my hobbies:
**Pottery, including kiln-building
**Learning languages (including new curse words)
**Ornithology ( I cannot say which bird I love the most. At the top of the list are: graylag goose, herring gull, raven, pigeon, blackbird, cormorant, common redshanks, greenfinch, albatross, robin, Eurasian curlew... actually, all of them. I wish I could lay their eggs.) Birds! But not birdcages.
**Local tourism (within cycling distance)
**Drinking whisky and eating cheese
**Cross-dressing (I welcome gender-subversive images)
**Visiting art museums
I'm really interested in hearing about you: if you're not sure what to write, why not tell me about that great project you keep meaning to start/finish? You never know: it might give you the push you need to realise it! I am always interested in your local industries or handicrafts, especially ceramic and textile art. People tend to think their region has nothing to offer. I have heard this many times from my fellow Europeans, and I think USAians are the same. I'm sure you're wrong! And maybe this is your chance to find out more about your culture, whatever you define "yours" to be. My current town, for example, is a good place for tattooing and knotting (it's a seedy port town) as well as beer brewing.
Other regions in which I have lived were variously (locally) famous for: wine, beer, pewter, love-spoons, papercut silouhettes, coal-carving, lace-making, embroidery, spinning, yodeling, horse-breeding, rope-making, earthernware/fayence and dyeing. Yet in every one of these places, people denied that there was anything interesting going on in the region.
I once met a young man who said his tiny, conservative Bavarian village was the most boring place on earth (and I tend to agree), and it later turned out that he was was a Vorplattler (professional thigh-slapper) competing at world-class level! Ah, those Bavarians! So what are the people of your region up to behind closed doors?
I don't collect anything! No, no, that would just be accumulating stuff. Ahem. So, things I am definitely not collecting (cough, cough) are: images of craftspeople and their workshops, traditions and historical sites, feminist/womanist stuff, your interesting anecdotes, puns and sayings. If you send me those things, I will be very happy and will by no means be accumulating them, stroking them and giving them nicknames. Nor will I put them in tins and sort them into piles. No way. That would just be materialistic and silly. Which I am not. Glad we established that!
Dictionaries, encyclopediae, maps, blueprints, the entire non-fiction section of the library.
I make almost everything out of scrap and leftovers, which I think gives it a rough-and-rugged recycling charm. If you are in a swap with me and have special needs, be they sensory, OCD, whatever, let me know and I will be glad make your post out of fresh, smooth, new paper. If you are visually impaired, please let me know and it will be my pleasure to make you a textured card or one with strong visual contrast.
I use vegetable-based glues and mineral-based pigment, but I occasionally use leather, feathers or wool. If you prefer me to make something vegetarian/vegan, I will be happy to do so.
I want to make you happy, so I will be delighted to accept your needs unquestioningly.
Ceramics, recycling, papercutting, printmaking, drawing and sketching, collage, calligraphy, bookbinding, embroidery, woodburning, assembling junk, building giant evil lasers with which to take over the world, you name it! Favourite textures: Paper, textile, wood, leather, stone, feathers, fur, rusty iron, peeling paint, brick, string.
I l o v e being a physicist. But I secretly wish I were one of those people that make maquettes for museums. I would be dead good at that.
I would also love to be a cheese-maker, a whisky distiller or a dry-stone waller.
If I could have one wish granted, I think I would like to experience life in a rock pool.
Dutch/Flemish still-life, trompe l'oeil and vanitas paintings of the "Golden" century. Especially those with tulips, half-peeled lemons and oysters. Do you know the ones I mean?
Zoological and botanical collections, like insects pinned on cards, owl pellets, birds' eggs, pressed seaweed, wasps' nests, shed skins and the like. Xylotheks - wood libraries, like the Schildbach xylothek in Kassel.
European romanesque and gothic Catholic art: painting, sculpture, architecture, reliquaries, psalters. Slavic and Byzantine orthodox Christian art. Islamic calligraphy and tesselations. Religious art in general.
Arctic and seamen's art: scrimshaw, bone and antler sculpture, toys and clothing made of sealskin or fish leather, bone ships, knotwork, beading and ropework.
Ceramics ancient and modern. Art, traditional, domestic, industrial, medicinal, achitectural, brickmaking: all of it! Kiln building, glaze recipes, techniques and tools, potters: anything! Turkey, Ecuador, Denmark, Iran, Mali, China, Pakistan: Everywhere!
Textiles: Indonesian batik, Central European Blaudruck (indigo), Hebridean tweed, Baltic/Belarussian woven belts, Japanese woodblock print, Tyrolean felt.
Scientific images: microscopy, MRI, x-ray, diffraction patterns, circuit diagrams, the periodic table, telescopy, seismographs, cloud chamber patterns.
LANGUAGE: Please write to me in English, German, Dutch, Afrikaans or French. If you write your return address in a non-latin script, please use your very best and simplest lettering. I will copy it verbatim, you see.
POSTCARDS: I like a postcard best if it is stamped and written on. If I join a blank postcard swap, it's because I overlooked the "blank" part, so please feel free to write on it!
LESS IS MORE: Unless I join a goodies swap, please don't send me anything but the swap item(s), and possibly a note. I know you mean well, but my drawer is full!
BUT I STILL LIKE GOODIES: If I I join a goodies swap: please don't send me anything to eat or drink, no cosmetics or jewellery and nothing scented. I love scrap paper and recycling. Please send me your old, sun-damaged, torn or foxed paper, card, envelopes, used stamps and old office supplies (not scrapbooking paper from the craft shop). If you think it's too old or damaged or grubby or creased for a swap and it's at the bottom of your "can't bring myself to throw it away" drawer: please send it to me, you will make my day! Don't be shy, I won't mark you down! Please don't send me plastic unless it's something you would otherwise throw out. I like to be biodegradeable.
I thought I'd put a little something here for my fellow stamp swappers. Science, technology and medicine, please! I love stamps with a limited colour palette and a strong graphical component. Often the definitives of republics fit that description (Poland and the Czech Republic have lovely definitives), as well as Europa/CEPT and human rights motifs, but I'm not keen on portrait stamps or photographic ones. I like bridges, oil rigs, oil refineries... anything like that. I don't like Christmas and Easter stamps. I'll repeat that, because I've been getting a lot of them: I don't like Christmas and Easter stamps. I love the USA pottery and mineral stamps and the Dutch Luchtpost-bicycle. Newfound love: Singaporean "vanishing trades".
In other words: please send me your engineering, medicine and science!
I don't send out "third Reich" stamps. I know some people like to collect them and I understand that. Sorry!
Deutsche Post is brilliant! (Thanks, Postie!) However, the world is big. Average times (from my Postcrossing experience): Germany - 2 days; BeNeLux and Austria - 5 days; Finland, France, Poland - 9 days; USA (city) - 15 days; USA (rural) - 21 days; Hong Kong and Taiwan - 16 days; China (city) - 24 days; China (rural) - 60 days; Moscow and St. Petersburg - 12 days; West Russia and the Urals - 35 days; Russia East of the Urals - 60 days and upwards; India - 40 days.
Thank you very much in advance for taking the time to read this and think about what might please me. Be assured that your post will make me smile!
Yours sincerely, Sonia (SuMay)
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